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what a Marine has to say

Posted by

Retired Jarhead

I'm a retired Marine. My best-ever mentor and boss introduced me to Wiggy's gear back in 1990ish. At the time I was a cold weather instructor at a Marine cold weather training base. This tour was followed by a stint at a special ops training unit. During these two tours of duty, I traveled all over the world training and operating in cold and the mountains. This is a preface to the fact that in the beginning, my old boss suggested that I buy an Ultima Thule sleeping bag. I have since spent literally hundreds of nights in this bag. It has made two trips to high camp at 17, 000 feet on Denali, and trips to Greenland, Iceland, Norway, etc. The bag has also been my best friend on many cold and wet trips in mountains all over the western US. Just this year I spent over 20 nights in the same bag at over 9,000 feet in North central Idaho. Bottom line I love the bag. During the past 30 years I've worn out several high-quality packs but my go-to bag, Wiggy's Ultima Thule just keeps on keeping on. Which is why I'm ordering two more for my sons as soon as I'm done with this review.

Mike Williams RETIRED MGySGT

Mike is not a “jarhead”!!!

Mike when I read your story yesterday, I knew it would have to be published. In the early 1990’s I have good memories of having sold the U.S. Marine Corps several dozen of the Ultima Thule sleeping bags that were shipped to the Marine Corp training base in Norway. Maybe it was one of those guys who told you about Wiggy’s Ultima Thule. It does not matter now since I am persona non grata with the U.S. Marine Corps.

I certainly appreciate your kind words and new business.

I wonder what his fellow Marines were using, had it been Wiggy’s he would have said so. The reality is they were, all had been issued the Ultima Thule bags. When we spoke when he ordered bags for his boys he told told me all of his men had them.+

Year in and year out the Marines head the research and development for cold weather products to obviously include sleeping bags, but they continuously fall short of the mark. I made the original two bag system for the Marines in the early 1990s, 1993 to be exact which was after the Ultima Thule was in use. They bought 12 and that was that. They gave them or at the least one system to Natick Labs who proceeded to bastardize it and from 1993 until about 2010 they modified it maybe 5 times and still had a failure. My over boot were made for the Marines, they bought 14 pair and that was that. Through Natick Labs they bought 300 pair of mukluks and no more.

The Marines have had the best insulated products they have ever had and knowingly walk from them because they are manufactured by Wiggy’s Inc. They think they can make better products than me when they go to companies like outdoor research who have zero and I mean zero knowledge of insulation and how to use it and why what I make works and what they make doesn’t.

There are many more men [troop] being deployed to Alaska this winter and those who buy Wiggys Ultima Thule’s or Antarctic bags will be warm and comfortable just like the several thousand Alaskans who have been buying them for 30 years. And those who use the army issue will wish they had a Wiggy’s bag.

I did get a call from a junior officer located at Ft. Wainwright getting pricing for 80 Antarctic bags,80 mukluks, 80 Antarctic extreme mittens in early October. I decided not to hold my breath, had I done so I wouldn’t be here. I have been getting orders from some who serve with him paid for by the individual.

I could be wrong and ultimately learn that some one has come up with a miraculous insulating material and I am not needed by the Marines. Their loss!!!

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